Kindness, the motivation, recognition and enactment of positive actions towards others, is invaluable -- it has an amazing power to alter how you view others and the world around you. Offering others kindness can change someone else's day for the better. It can be difficult to be kind to others, but it can change cycles of negativity -- when you are kind to others it makes them happier and more likely to spread that kindness. There are many ways to show kindness, so find the method that best fits you.
Giving to others is a common notion of kindness. You can give money to a charity or offer food to a homeless person. Underlying giving as a form of kindness is the sacrifice of something you have to improve another person's life. Giving manifests in different ways and is capable of turning someone's life around. Whether it is a dollar or a full meal, giving as kindness is important.
Listening to others is a subtle form of kindness, but it can mean the world to them. When you listen to people, you show that you respect them and what they have to say. You honor their words and indicate that they are important to you. For people who feel isolated or unimportant, something as simple as listening can boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Random acts of kindness are typically spontaneous forms of positive action. Paying for someone's food, helping a stranger replace a flat tire, or even telling your cashier to have a good day are all small and impromptu ways to show others kindness. Often, it is these acts that create a silver lining for people who are having a bad day. It does not take much to change someone's day, so look for small opportunities to better someone's life.
Loving-kindness is a Buddhist method of attitude change that fosters compassion for yourself and others. It is the predecessor to love sent outward to others, which can manifest as kindness. This practice creates loving feelings for others and enhances them in yourself, which leads to an increased likelihood of your offering kindness to others. Loving-kindness meditation is as simple as offering positive thoughts to respected, loved, neutral, and hostile people in your life. This practice radiates love within you and increases your chances of being kind to others.
S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.